Although the self-made person has always been a popular figure in American society, entrepreneurship has gotten greatly romanticized in the last few decades. In the 21st century, the example of Internet companies like Alphabet, formerly Google (GOOG), and Meta (META), formerly Facebook, both of which have made their founders wildly wealthy, have made people enamored with the idea of becoming entrepreneurs.
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Entrepreneurship is a broad term, and you can be an entrepreneur in just about any area. However, you will have to pick a field to work in and business to start. Find a business that won’t only be successful, but is something that you are passionate about. Entrepreneurship is hard work, so you want to focus your attention on something you care about.
You don’t need to have any type of formal education to be an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore education entirely. If you want to start a tech company, experience in business, computer programming and marketing could all be valuable. Also, some industries will likely require some type of education, such as your own accounting or law firm.
Before you begin your business, you need to have a business plan. A business plan lays out any objectives you have as well as your strategy for achieving those objectives. This plan is important for getting investors on board, as well as measuring how successful your business is.
Not every business appeals to everyone. The age, gender, income, race and culture of your target group will play a large role in determining where you open up shop – or if you even need to have a physical address for business. Research which group fits your business model best, and then gear everything to attract that demographic.
While networking is important in all fields, it may be most important for entrepreneurs. Networking is how you meet other people that might have skills you can use in your business. You can also find potential investors through networking to help get your business model off the ground. Your network can also support your business once you open, helping send new customers your way.
Consumers want products, but they don’t always know which product to pick. Your job as an entrepreneur is to convince people that whatever you’re selling is the best option available. You’ll have to find out what makes your product unique and then sell it based off the value it adds.
You should be focused on marketing before, during and after you start your business. You may have the best restaurant in the city, but nobody will visit if they don’t know it exists. Marketing is tricky, but if you should be able to focus your marketing efforts on your target audience. For example, millennials may be more likely to see an ad on social media than on a billboard downtown.
FAQ on Becoming a Entrepreneur
Business licenses might be required for your field of work. Different states and counties have different requirements for licensure. Also, some industries will require other types of licenses as well. A restaurant may require a license for food handling and selling alcohol on top of the normal business license.
Yes, anyone can be an entrepreneur, but not everybody is going to have the same level of success. Entrepreneurship takes a lot of experience, determination and sometimes education. There are no prerequisites to becoming an entrepreneur, though, and there are successful entrepreneurs from every demographic.
No, but it certainly helps. If you’re opening a marketing agency, then you should have plenty of experience with marketing. Customers won’t want to spend their money if they don’t think you can provide a high quality product, and experience and a solid track record is a good way to prove you’re fit for the job.
There is no best way to become an entrepreneur. Every entrepreneur has a different experience, and even the best business ideas have the possibility of failing. However, you can mitigate your chances of failure. Education, experience and proper planning can all give your business a better chance of succeeding.
What Is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.
Entrepreneurs play a key role in any economy, using the skills and initiative necessary to anticipate needs and bringing good new ideas to market. Entrepreneurship that proves to be successful in taking on the risks of creating a startup is rewarded with profits, fame, and continued growth opportunities. Entrepreneurship that fails results in losses and less prevalence in the markets for those involved.
How Entrepreneurship Works
Entrepreneurship is one of the resources economists categorize as integral to production, the other three being land/natural resources, labor, and capital. An entrepreneur combines the first three of these to manufacture goods or provide services. They typically create a business plan, hire labor, acquire resources and financing, and provide leadership and management for the business.
Economists have never had a consistent definition of "entrepreneur" or "entrepreneurship" (the word "entrepreneur" comes from the French verb entreprendre, meaning "to undertake"). Though the concept of an entrepreneur existed and was known for centuries, the classical and neoclassical economists left entrepreneurs out of their formal models: They assumed that perfect information would be known to fully rational actors, leaving no room for risk-taking or discovery. It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that economists seriously attempted to incorporate entrepreneurship into their models.
Three thinkers were central to the inclusion of entrepreneurs: Joseph Schumpeter, Frank Knight, and Israel Kirzner. Schumpeter suggested that entrepreneurs—not just companies—were responsible for the creation of new things in the search for profit. Knight focused on entrepreneurs as the bearers of uncertainty and believed they were responsible for risk premiums in financial markets. Kirzner thought of entrepreneurship as a process that led to the discovery.
John D. Rockefeller
One of the world’s wealthiest individuals of all time, Rockefeller was born the son of a traveling salesman. He showed early entrepreneurial promise selling candy and doing odd jobs for neighbors, eventually going on to become the founder of the Standard Oil Company. There’s no business quite like oil business, and it made Rockefeller filthy rich.
Those predictions came true, as Anderson first tried and failed to become actor and singer. Seeing something special in Anderson, the director of the Royal Danish Theater took him under his wing and attended to his education. Anderson was teased terribly at school and harassed by students and a hateful headmaster, and he considered those some of the darkest days of his life.
After leaving school, Anderson began to publish his writing. His fairy tales became immensely popular and eventually earned him the fame he was promised as a child. He never forgot his initial poverty–The Little Match Girl was inspired by how his mother was forced to go begging in the streets as a young girl.
Today Hans Christian Anderson is still beloved, known for rich fairy tales, many of which have inspired Disney animation classics (which, it should be noted, have much happier endings than the original tales).
Bill Gates is one of the most famous entrepreneurs of our era. The richest man in the world, Gates has a net worth estimated to be over $79 billion. He’s held the title of "world’s wealthiest individual" for 16 of the past 21 years.
Gates showed an interest in computer programming at a very young age, spending all of his free time creating programs on the teletype terminal computer his school had donated. Gates went on to create Microsoft and develop the Windows operating system, which continues to be tremendously popular.
Bill Gates is, like many other famous entrepreneurs, also known for his philanthropic activities, donating very large amounts of money to charitable organizations and scientific endeavors. Gates established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing health care, improving education opportunities, and providing access to technology worldwide. Gates himself has donated over $28 billion to the foundation, which he continues to work for.